The cost of batteries after a major earthquake.

The price for a left wing after a Sturm.

The LA Kings lost Andrei Loktionov to a season ending left shoulder injury yesterday.

Dean Lombardi’s waiver move with Marco Sturm backfired when the Washington Capitals picked up the veteran left wing.

You may think this increases the chance of Dean Lombardi making a trade. Perhaps. Another perspective is the loss of Loktionov and Sturm puts Lombardi in a greater position of weakness in negotiations because the LA Kings‘ need for a left wing has suddenly hit critical mass. Supply and demand – there was already a short supply of left wing forwards. The LA Kings now have a greater demand for one. Hence, the market price goes up.

What now? Those teams nicely asking for Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn, or players Dean Lombardi hesitated to give up may not ask with a smile anymore. You could blame Dean for waiting too long, as LA Times Hall of Fame writer Helene Elliott coined Paralysis by Analysis:

A general manager identifies a need for a productive left winger. He decides to trade a valuable asset to fill that need but gives his team a better chance to go deep in the playoffs this season and in the future. Congratulations, Ray Shero of the Pittsburgh Penguins. What, you thought it might be Kings GM Dean Lombardishaking off his paralysis by analysis?

…The Kings, who were interested in Neal but not at the cost of a top defenseman, have looked at Florida’s David Booth and Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky but have made it known they won’t trade prospect Brayden Schenn. It would be surprising if Lombardi does anything bigger than his usual and tedious mid-range deals. The Ducks thought they’d be buyers, but if goaltender Jonas Hiller continues to be plagued by lightheadedness they’ll fall too far out of contention for anything to make a difference.

She’s right. This hole at left wing is nothing new. Neither is arguably the bigger one at 2nd line center. For three seasons, Lombardi has done nothing to fill it waiting for the “right fit.” But what now? While either theory is speculation, don’t be surprised if Lombardi takes his trading marbles and stays home. That could mean an Oscar Moller call up. It could also translate to a marginal trade that doesn’t fill the long term necessity but simply replaces the Sturm that blew away. We’ll know soon enough.